Omantel Deploys IP Contribution And Distribution Networks On Imagine Communications’ Selenio

Omantel, the national and leading telecoms company of Oman, has upgraded its main production and playout facilities with new IP-enabled technology platforms from Imagine Communications.

The new system enhancements significantly boost the performance and resiliency of the Middle East broadcaster’s state-of-the-art contribution and distribution networks, which rely on Imagine Communications’ Selenio Media Convergence Platform (MCP).

Said Abdullah Al Ajmi, vice president of operations at Omantel, said the goal in designing this network was “to meet the quality and reliability requirements of our clients in a very cost-effective way, using open telecoms standards.”

Omantel was one of the first launch customers for the Selenio MCP, which enables media companies to combine baseband digital audio and video and compressed and uncompressed IP media signals into common workflows. Omantel is using the Selenio MCP to operate a network linking 55 sites over dedicated fiber. This facilitates high-quality HD contribution and distribution services to studios and transmission centers across the country. The same platform also supports backhaul operations for remote productions, including sports and national events.

The project, which was completed in the third quarter of 2017, included migrating Omantel’s operations from outdated transmission technology to Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) through the addition of networking modules to the Selenio MCP (which supports both digital video and long-distance connectivity over fiber in the same 3RU chassis). The result is mission-critical, real-time video transport based on open standards over both media and telecoms networks.

The Selenio MCP solution’s support for baseband and IP protocols enables Omantel to use a single device for both SDI and MPEG-2 transport streams on the broadcaster side, significantly reducing operational complexity. Signals are encoded or transcoded as needed for cost-optimizing the Omantel fiber network, while helping to ensure resilience through redundant paths.

In addition to feeding all terrestrial transmitters in Oman, the telco’s network provides contribution circuits for live broadcasts, such as sports and major public events, to the broadcasting center. This makes for an extremely reliable solution while reducing operational costs typical of traditional links vehicles from remote areas. Where live coverage is required from a location outside of Omantel’s extensive coverage area, Imagine Communications has provided portable kits to extend the network.

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